Why is it always us? 


We arrived in Bafa at lunchtime and had the best katmer in a little place on the main road before the turn off to the Hotel Silva Oliva where we are staying. 

Mehmet greeted us and showed us to our room. Its all arranged into small blocks of 4 rooms. The rooms are very dated and paintwork is a bit crumbly but huge with the biggest bed in the world which turned out to be 2 large singles with a scary gap down the middle ! No one else around so perfect for much needed chill time. 

We ventured off down to the edge of the lake where there were 2 sunloungers and dozed while reading. Heaven. Well for about 15 minutes until 2 couples and their children appeared from the reeds and talked to each other as if they were the other side of the lake. We had no idea fishing was such a noisy sport.
Eventually they left and we dozed until the sun started to fade. We decided to go over to Kapikiri the village where we stayed last year. Its definitely the prettiest side of the lake with its gorgeous rustic village and views of the islands. Sadly the flamingos we saw last year have gone west, but plenty of other wildlife around. We decided to see if we could find someone to take us trekking the next day and stopped and spoke to the guy at Agora Pansiyon. The Agora is a stunning rustic place, the owner was a bit grumpy but hes anxiously awaiting the referendum results so fair enough. He said €50 euros for trekking, a deal as normally €38 euro each. At just short of 200tl it seemed high so we declined. 

We decided to go across to Karia Pansiyon where we stayed last year. We would have stayed there again but the price he wrote for us on his card jumped crazily when trying to book this time. Emin greeted us like old friends. As we were hungry we decided to stay for dinner. He was dismissive about menu and prices saying we were friends.

He said he would take us trekking for 150tl so we agreed we would meet him in the morning. After our ridiculously large bill we decided no way we would go. In 6 years we’ve never been charged extra for a side salad and the included chips never came despite asking twice. Feeling disillusioned we went back to our base asked our host Mehmet if he knew anyone to take us trekking and a few minutes later it was all arranged to meet Yusuf at the kahvehanesi at the top of Yaka village tomorrow at 11am. 80tl. That softened the blow of being ripped off by Emin. Seriously.. It does my head in. I emailed Emin and explained why we wouldn’t be joining him in the morning. 

We did however get some stunning sunset photos from Karia Pansiyon.

So looking forward to tomorrows trek, our reason for returning to Bafa.



Wow, trekking was extreme in parts but so very worth it.


The referendum result was only just over 50% with questions being asked about the counting process which may or may not be investigated. 

At 1.30am John had enough and went and asked the people in the next room to be quiet. To be fair they thought they were the only guests too. I never understand the need to speak so loudly and to move furniture in the night. Our neighbours are the same. Maybe its some sort of Feng Shui ritual.

We had a lovely breakfast, Mehmet is such a perfect host. We set off to meet Yusuf, and found him up the top of a very steep hill where lots of men we sitting outside the coffee house and a van was selling tools. It was like a different world up there, like stepping back in time. 

Yusuf doesn’t speak any English but thats good as I dont often get chance to practice my Turkish. We continued up a narrow roadway and parked high up outside his grandmothers tumbledown stone house. We were somewhat surprised as he looks at least in his 60’s. Assumed it must be where she lived when still alive until he went and said hello. 

We had worried about having walking boots, Yusuf had normal shoes, a shirt, jumper and a body warmer despute being 21 degrees. We set off in the direction of the monastery, clambering over dry stone walls, up the side of the mountain. The views were absolutely breathtaking and my task next week will be narrowing down which photos to keep. 

The spring flowers were amazing. Yusuf insisted on picking lots of Karabaş which looks a lot like Scottish thistle. Apparently putting it in hot water and drinking lots of it lowers cholesterol. His grandmother is 86 so a good recommendation.

After the monastery the trek got harder, clambering over large boulders and then we reached a huge rock where the infamous frescoes are.

Amazing..so worth the climb. The hardest was still to come. After bigger boulders we reached a cave where there are neolithic cave paintings. A couple of kilos heavier and we wouldnt have been able to scrunch through the gap into the cave.

Then Yusuf joked that we were going to do some sport. I assume the downhill boulder clambering on your bum is a short cut. John said the whole trip was worth it to see how brave I was. He expected me to freak out and refuse a few times. 

After 3 hours and an amazing experience we dropped Yusuf down to the village and felt sad to say goodbye.

We needed petrol so drove to the closest little town, Selimiye and decided to have a wander and some lunch. It was another step back in time, we were the focus of lots of staring but the streetdogs loved us. One in particular.

We decided to drive back to our little parade of roadside restaurants. The lure of the katmer was irresistable. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Hotel and tore ourselves away from Line of Duty on catch up long enough to go for a toastie and chips and a natter with Mehmet.

We have to leave at 8.30am tomorrow morning to set off to Kusadasi to start our Greek Island Cruise and Mehmet is going to have the cay pot on early for us.

Bye bye Bafa. Hello Celestyal Olympia :)


Despite the flaking walls, the bed gap issue and the lack of hot water I had decided to give Hotel Silva Oliva a glowing review on the basis of the wonderful hospitality from Mehmet. We hadn’t met the boss apart from at from distance after he tried to open our room to show some guests around yesterday afternoon.

We had a lovely breakfast, paid our bill from last night and then Mehmet told us the bill for our room was 190tl. John had 180 ready in his hand and said we were told 180.

The boss was outside and said it was 190. John showed his email saying 180tl. The guy argued that it should be 180tl per night but he was doing us a favour at 190tl. He later emailed to say he didnt mean he was trying to charge double. Anyway..silly man. Been in the job 3 weeks. Not going to make it a successful business like that.

The 1 hour drive to Kusadasi was uneventful and we found secure parking close by. 15tl a day til I told him in my best Turkish that we will use the Belediye one for 10tl. With the price dropped to 10tl a day we parked up and joined the boarding queue. I seriously think we’ve go on try & rip us off written on our foreheads.

So excited now. Got goosebumps when I saw our ship.

Boarding took a while, tight security but who cares, better safe than sorry.